Hubbards’ day at Renown
December 19, 2013
Tuesday was another day of many where Fallon's Sam Hubbard, a math teacher at Churchill County Middle School, was driving his wife, Shelly, to a medical appointment.
For the past year Shelly, a secretary at the middle school, has battled leukemia and a serious infection in her leg that caused her to fall into a critical condition. The Hubbards have undergone more trials and tribulations this year than most families endure in a lifetime. It is the strong love that binds them day after day with Shelly's condition and the numerous trips to the doctor or hospital.
The Hubbards and I worked together before I retired from the middle school more than nine years ago. In fact, Sam and I began teaching at about the same time.
Yet, what came next for the Hubbards on Tuesday is something we in Fallon only see happen to others, not to those we know.
"The highway patrol whizzed by us (on the Interstate," Sam recounted.
Sam, along with his second oldest son Mark, were taking Shelly to the medical center to have her blood drawn.
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Once the Hubbards curved off Interstate 580 and headed west on Second Street, they could see cop cars with their lights flashing.
"We thought it looked like pedestrian may have been hit and run over on Second Street," Sam said.
Sam drove up the valet near Renown's infusion center, helped Shelly out of the car and headed into the building. Once they walked through the automatic doors, a hospital employee informed the Hubbards that they, and scores more, weren't allowed to leave the hospital.
Renown was under lockdown because of a lone gunman firing a shotgun in the Center for Advance Medicine floor. Not only did the gunman kill a doctor and critically wound another physician and patient, but he also turned the shotgun on himself.
Two dead, two critically wounded.
"We walked by the lab area, which was side open, but then we went to the infusion room and it was closed because of the lockdown," Sam explained.
Since Renown is a big medical campus, the shooting took place in another area but not that far from the Hubbards.
"They had police at every door, and we had no idea how long we would be. We stayed put, but Shelly didn't have any blood drawn," Sam said.
After the lockdown lifted, the Hubbards, along with the other patients and employees, left the building and drove home to Mark's apartment, where they have been staying. The lockdown procedure, though, wasn't new to the Hubbards. Those times when we worked together at the middle school, several emergencies occurred at the school, one coming a week after the Columbine shootings in Colorado, when supposedly a student had a handgun hidden under his coat. As much as people prepare with drills and procedures, encountering a real-life situation, like the Hubbards did earlier this week, is also unnerving.
The Hubbards have endured much this year as a family with Shelly's illness. As the Hubbards waited for the lockdown, they viewed the situation that had upended a handful of lives.
The reference is from Sam's Facebook entry where he and Shelly discussed problems:
"Shelly and I visited as we sat waiting about how some people go to drastic measures to solve problems. Shelly and I think we have troubles, but there always seems to be some people who have worse. God bless those families and what they are going through…."
For the Hubbards, though, they have a community with one heart beating with them … their church family, their fellow educators, those students and parents who know of Sam through his teaching and the people of Churchill County.
The Hubbards, though, still have a journey ahead of them. Because of an infection in her leg, doctors will perform a skin graft on Christmas Eve to cover a hole in her leg. Once her leg begins to heal, Sam said Shelly will eventually enter the University of California, Davis medical center where she will undergo a bone marrow transplant.
"We don't know when that surgery will be," Sam said. "We just need to know her leg is OK."
Steve Ranson is editor of the LVN.